This newspaper article appeared in the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin, following the March 2009 - Thornbury Antique Show.
Keep your glass -it could be worth something
Glass expert Sean George says people may have treasures of unknown fortune in the back shelves of their kitchen cupboards or china cabinets. The reputable collector says everyday glass goblets, bowls and dishes from the turn of the century could be worth a king's ransom -- depending on the condition the condition they are in.
At the 19th annual Thornbury Winter Antiques Show this past weekend, the owner of Pressed Glass & Goblets in Arthur said pressed glass goblets made for everyday use, circa 1870-to-1901, are now in demand and people are willing to pay good money for them. Among other treasures, he had a vintage Canadian 'Rayed Heart' design goblet made by Jefferson Glass in Toronto that was worth $1,395.
"This is a very rare piece -- one of them only show up about every four or five years and in 30 years I have seen about 10 -- but none that were in as pristine condition as this one," said George, holding up the beautiful piece which he has marked with a Canadian sticker.
"People want to know where they come from. This one is very expensive due to the condition it is in -- I doubt it was ever used but people should not think that all antique glassware is this costly. They are all differently priced starting at about $15. People like the heaviness of the goblets and are not necessarily looking for sets anymore either -- they want each one to be different or unique."
For anyone who wants to know more about pressed glass, George has bought the rights to a book calledAmerican & Canadian Goblets,which he sells for $29.95 and says is one of the best reference books on the market.
"It was written by Doris and Peter Unitt who have passed away now -- but the book is well-researched. They travelled all over Canada and the States to gather information on goblets and it took them 10 years to write."
George not only collects and sells pressed glass and goblets but selections of popular Depression glass.
In the business for 35 years, he is Canada's leading Antique Pressed Glass Authority, a CBC analyst at the Toronto Antique Roadshow, does lectures on pressed glass, and has been interviewed extensively by various media.
He says considering the popularity of turn-of-the-century glass, people should be taking a look at what they have and educating their children as to how to care for and preserve it.
Once scratched and worn, precious pieces -- no matter what they are--lose value.
"Pressed glass was used for everyday dining and was very heavy that's why people liked these goblets for drinking from. The more pristine shape they are in the better--it makes them more valuable. For example, some early pieces of Corning Ware are already selling on EBay because they are now considered collectibles, but in 30-to-50 years how many will be left?," said George.
"The trouble is there are not many that aren't well used, scratched or have the blue flowers missing. Young people of today are putting everything in the dishwasher and that's hard on glass pieces."
George was one of about 30 collectors with antique treasures to the sell during the 19th annual winter show. This event has created a following when it comes to those seeking vintage collectibles, or just enjoy conversing with knowledgeable and professional full-time dealers.